The son of Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma was killed in a crash near Tulsa International Airport Sunday afternoon.
A source close to the senator confirmed to KOCO News at 5 that Perry Inhofe was aboard the plane when it crashed. Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers confirmed Sunday one person was killed in the crash.
Dr Perry Inhofe was a graduate of Duke University where he graduated in 1984 after studying biomedical engineering and electrical engineering. He graduated in 1988 from medical school at Washington University in St. Louis and completed his medical training at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis and the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine.
Speaking to Tulsa World, witnesses to the crash said that the plane came down “in a heavily wooded area near the 8800 block of East 98th Street North.”
“I couldn’t hear the pilot,” said Justin Allison, the pilot of a plane flying minutes behind Inhofe’s. “I heard the tower declare an emergency for him, which is a red-flag raiser, because usually the pilot will declare the emergency. It makes you wonder what was going on in that cabin.”
Bryon Fry and his nephew Jake Bray were in the woods when the plane crashed. “I saw it go over once and didn’t think anything of it,” Bray said. “Then it circled around and I saw one propeller out. Then it nosed down and went down hard. It started spiraling out of control and it hit the ground.”
Bray and Fry attempted to reach the crash site by way of a path in the woods but when they arrived the plane was already on fire.
“We were talking about trying and maybe pulling the guy out if that was possible,” Bray said. “It was fully engulfed when we got there and it looked like the wings had come detached. There were tires popping … There was nothing we could do.”
Inhofe the senator, who is 78, has only recently returned to Washington after undergoing major emergency heart surgery.